Career Guidance: Advance

The oncology nursing profession is always advancing. ONS provides the resources that nurses at any level need to support a career of lifelong learning.


Earn a certificate in chemotherapy biotherapy. For nurses who have been administering chemotherapy or biotherapy agents for more than one year and administer these agents at least once a month, this course reinforces critical information for safe administration and uses evidence to manage acute side effects.

Earn a certificate in radiation therapy. Nurses with more than two years of experience in radiation should take this course to learn how radiobiology is used to treat various forms of cancer and to recognize the risk factors and nursing interventions for the common side effects of treatment.


Understand core competencies. Meeting the recommended skills and qualifications for your current position plays an essential role in advancing your career. ONS spearheaded the development of role-specific core competencies for oncology nurse generalists, oncology nurse practitioners, oncology clinical nurse specialists, oncology nurse navigators, and oncology clinical trials nurses.

Build clinical knowledge. Learn the latest advances and trends through the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) and the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON). Both convey oncology nursing research and evidence-based findings affecting quality cancer care, technology, education, and leadership. CJON also provides oncology nurses with the practical information necessary to care for patients and their families across the cancer continuum.

Apply for an educational scholarship. The Oncology Nursing Foundation helps nurses further their education by offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral-level scholarships.

Earn NCPD contact hours. ONS provides the NCPD resources to manage your ILNA work plan and maintain your certification through ONCC.


Earn an additional certification. As nurses grow in their careers, many decide to earn another certification. Depending on your experience and career goals, you might decide to become a certified pediatric hematology oncology nurse, a certified breast care nurse, a blood and marrow transplant certified nurse or an advanced oncology certified nurse specialist.


Join ONS communities. Our nursing communities are groups of members who share ideas, insights, and experiences in the same cancer care subspecialty.

Volunteer for ONS project teams. Plan, implement, and evaluate the educational offerings of the conference agenda as a member of the Congress content planning team, work as an online course contributor, or develop resources and strategies to improve the quality of care by working on quality initiatives. These examples are just a few of the volunteer opportunities available to ONS members.

Share your knowledge. We’re always looking for nurses to submit abstracts for all learning tracks at Congress, and share their insights. Keep an eye out for a call for abstracts on the Congress website

Go to Washington D.C. ONS members can apply to represent their ONS chapter at the ONS Capitol Hill Days, a reoccurring two-day event in the fall, where they will learn about advocating for their patients and profession and meet with state legislators. Contact for more information.